Wild Men (2021)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Living off grid. Fending for yourself. Rediscovering the ways of the Viking. We’ve all dreamt about doing at least one of those. The hapless hero of this Danish comedy abandons his wife and children to do all three. Skewering a particular kind of male midlife crisis, Thomas Daneskov’s film joins this fur-clad throwback in the wilds of Norway, where his misbegotten adventure is soon morphing into a Fargo-style backwoods thriller with feeble local cops in lukewarm pursuit.

Cabaret (1972)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Cabaret (1972)

If the latest offerings at the cinema aren’t tempting you out, there’s always the chance to make like it’s 1972 all over again. Following 50th anniversary reissues of The Godfather and Cries and Whispers already this year, now Bob Fosse’s classic musical Cabaret is back on the big screen. Set amid the bohemian decadence and debauchery of Weimar-era Berlin, it gave Liza Minnelli her defining on-screen turn as Sally Bowles, bowler-hatted dancer at the KitKat Club. As in The Sound of Music (1965), the gathering storm of Nazism gives the drama its lower octaves, but Fosse’s film is altogether more adult and subversive.

Twentynine Palms (2003)

Where’s it on? Blu-ray

File this one alongside Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (1970) and Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1984) in that subgenre of films in which high-minded European directors offer an ambivalent outsiders’ perspective on the vast landscapes of the American south-west. Made after the divisive L’Humanité (1999) had made him both the toast and the terror of the arthouse world, Bruno Dumont’s confrontational Twentynine Palms throws together an LA photographer and a Russian woman on a trip through the California desert. They can barely speak the same language, but horniness bridges the gap. 

The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)

Where’s it on? Blu-ray and digital

The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)

Made the same year as his first turn as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, this British caper sees Peter Sellers on the other side of the law. As ‘Pearly’ Gates, he heads up a gang of crooks whose operations are undercut by a rival new gang of Australian hoodlums specialising in impersonating police officers. He’s forced to join forces not only with competitor ‘Nervous’ O’Toole (Bernard Cribbins) but with Scotland Yard itself – as embodied by Lionel Jeffries’ Inspector ‘Nosey’ Parker. It’s all as fun as the character names, with a tiny bit part for Michael Caine just before he hit the big time.

Thieves’ Highway (1949)

Where’s it on? Talking Pictures TV, Saturday, 9.05pm

Thieves’ Highway (1949)

French-sounding American director Jules Dassin confusingly made his most famous film noir in France – the heist classic Rififi (1955). His home-turf thrillers are just as essential though – and Thieves’ Highway is one of his best. A terse trucker noir, it’s atmospherically set within the world of fruit markets in San Francisco, with Richard Conte playing the war veteran who returns to California to find his farmer father in trouble with Lee J. Cobb’s corrupt fruit dealer. Dassin was at the forefront of noir’s postwar turn towards greater realism, and Thieves’ Highway makes exciting use of actual locations around the Bay Area.